A final point: thus far, I've assumed Arrington's list is intended to document Mormons whose intellectual life directly bore upon their faith. Mormonism dominated the intellectual life of every man on this list, and that of nearly all the other figures I've discussed.
This may represent a tactical choice, but it may also illustrate the adolescence of a still young faith. Since the 1960s, Mormons like Richard Bushman, Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring have become recognized intellectual leaders in fields quite apart from their religion — and Mormonism benefits when they turn that expertise back upon their faith.
In the future, then, ten will likely be too short a list.
Matthew Bowman is the associate editor of "Dialogue: a journal of Mormon thought" and recently received a PhD in American religious history from Georgetown University.
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